Concerns over a stalled economy and market volatility dropped the Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index (SAICI®) four points to 4, a 12-month low.
Concerns over a stalled economy and market volatility dropped the Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index (SAICI®) to 4, a four-point decline from last month, and a 12-month low. This is the second consecutive four-month drop for the SAICI, which measures the investment confidence and outlook of households with more than $500,000 on investible assets.
The Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index (SMICI®), which is a similar measure of households with more than $1 million of investible assets, dipped 1 point to 10, a one point decline from March, and a three-month low.
Year-to-year, the SAICI is up 1 point, while the SMICI is down 1 point.
The primary driver of these declines in April was a weak jobs report that was released at the beginning of the month that showed the economy added 125,000 jobs in March, ending a year-long run of job gains of at least 200,000. The report also noted that the number of people identified as long-term unemployed—people out of work for at least 27 weeks--was essentially unchanged from the beginning of the month at 2.6 million.
Market volatility, too, was a factor, with swings caused by continued speculation over when the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates. At the conclusion of its meeting this week, the Federal Open Market Committee not only offered no changes to its zero interest rate policy, but it also completely deleted any calendar references from its post-meeting statement. Overseas developments, including Greece’s ongoing financial crisis and ISIS’ unrelenting assaults, also shook global financial markets.
Not surprisingly, affluent investors surveyed in April by Spectrem Group about how they intend to invest in the coming month indicated in greater numbers than the previous month that they would hold on the sidelines. There was also an increase in those who said they would invest in more conservative vehicles such as cash. Stock market conditions, they said, were the primary factor affecting their current investment plans.
Another reflection of the decline in the Spectrem indices was the April performance of the Spectrem Affluent Household Outlook, a monthly measure of four financial factors that impact investors’ daily lives. The April Outlook was stagnant from March. Still, the affluent mindset is in a more positive place than it was one year ago. The April Outlook was up 7.47 points from April 2014.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.